They voted massively for change – as personified by Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.
No matter what the army does, or what Mugabe does or what ZEC does now – it is immaterial. What matters is that the people of Zimbabwe have spoken. They no longer want Mugabe. And he has got the message – loud and clear. He might try to cling to power for a bit longer, with support from his fabulously wealthy military leaders. But in his heart of hearts he knows that he has stolen the election. He is no longer wanted by the people of Zimbabwe.
Morgan Tsvangirai won this election – despite the gerrymandering, vote rigging, vote buying, intimidation of voters, denial of access to radio, television and the daily press. Even the arrest of his pilot, to stop him from campaigning around the country while Mugabe flew around in three choppers, did not dent his popularity.
Millions of Zimbabweans queued under the intimidating watch of the ZRP and the loathed CIO to cast their votes for the man and the party they believe will deliver them from the institutionalised corruption, brutality and lawlessness that has characterised the Mugabe regime for the best part of the last two decades.
At the start of the SADC-initiated negotiations last year, South African president, Thabo Mbeki, announced that his aim was to make it possible for free and fair elections, that would not be contested by any party afterwards, to be held in Zimbabwe. He has failed dismally.
He could still rescue his reputation by ensuring that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is respected by Mugabe and his military forces.
SADC and Africa have said in the past that they would not accept coup d’etats on the continent. We hope they will not stand idly by and watch the Mugabe stealing another election, with the consequent human suffering.
Zimbabweans have suffered enough. Their suffering has been well documented by numerous reputable, international agencies. South Africa, SADC and the African Union can no longer continue to ignore these facts, hiding behind the pretence of African solidarity and colonial hangups.
We expect the international community, not only to condemn the cheating that is going on, but to take decision action this time around. They too should stop hiding behind their colonial hangups. This is not about colonialism any more. This is about a country with the lowest life expectancy in the world, the highest inflation in the world, brutal suppression of human rights and the wholesale destruction of a once-vibrant economy in a sophisticated nation that was once the jewel of Africa.
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. Psalm 98:1-2